Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pasifika Festival: Zero Waste


Ngarimu and his band of merry volunteers once again  spread the message of Zero Waste. An observer told me that there were bins in other villages to collect the rubbish, but there was nobody like us in the Tangata Whenua/Maori village to direct and instruct festival goers to recycle like we were doing .
Please click on the entrance to read the philosophy of the Ngati Whatua o Orakei. 
I must have been brown enough to be asked if I was a Maori when I invite so passionately to my students to come to the Maori Village. To my adult students from Italy, Peru, Korea, and Chili, I told them I had slept in their marae, ate their food. I am part of their whanau/ family. They laughed.
I encouraged them to come to see me at the Tangata Whenua. It was so awesome to see some of my students and their families come up to see me and say Hi.
Auckland tribe Ngati Whatua o Orakei is calling for all events in the city to aim for zero-waste status and plans to promote that message at the Pasifika Festival.

After managing to keep 90 per cent - 5.7 tonnes - of waste away from landfills at the iwi's Waitangi Day Festival at Okahu Bay , the tribe's position is simply about putting kaitiaki (guardianship) responsibilities into practice, said Ngati Whatua heritage manager Ngarimu Blair.

"We thought it would be hypocritical to celebrate our identity as clean, green and papatuanuku [Earth]-loving Maori if then we held an event which creates rubbish, which adds to carbon emissions and makes the whenua [land] look bad."

It was also about supporting neighbouring hapu such as Ngati Naho, who had the giant Hampton Downs tip - which will take 30 million cu m of solid waste, much of it from Auckland , during the next 25 years - in their backyard.

Ngati Whatua is managing the tangata whenua village at Pasifika next Saturday and will aim for zero waste at the event. Mr Blair hopes that other villages at the event will try to do the same at future festivals.

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